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How to Choose an Interior Door for Your Home

How to Choose an Interior Door for Your Home

Interior renovationsHow to Choose an Interior Door for Your Home

Are you looking to close off your double living room, kitchen, closet, or guest bedroom? The space itself is already divided, all you need is a door, really. Hinged, swinging, sliding, pocket, folding, pivoting: there are a ton of door models out there, and you are bound to find one that will fit your needs, and that will not clash with your decor.

Choosing an Interior Door

The hinged door—mounted and fixed to its frame by hinges—is your typical type of door. It opens and closes by a door handle embedded opposite the hinges and roughly halfway up the door. 

The door handle’s position has an ergonomic function allowing one to easily open the door. It is possible that the door handle may be located elsewhere for aesthetic reasons, but that is done to the detriment of the ergonomic function, thus ignoring customary function. Single-pocket doors are mainly used for bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. 

Various Models of Interior Doors

If you are working with a large opening or if the space in question you wish to close is large enough, why not mount two doors, side by side? A hinged, double-pivot door enables you to open up the space and make a grand entrance.  

Having to turn two door handles instead of one to enter your dining room or bedroom will give you reason enough to feel like you are living in a manor within which you are making the room bigger and flooding it with natural light. In everyday life, you can always be discreet and only open one door in order to keep the grand gestures for your guests. 

interior door_choosing an interior door for your home


How to Install an Interior Door?

To install an interior door, you will need to following tools: wood chisel, hammer, 4-foot level, nail setters, pry bar, screwdriver, knife with a retractable blade, drill, door handle installation kit, spade bits, door lock installation kit, and pocket plane. You will also need the following material: wood and finishing nails, cedar shims, wood for the jambs, door handle and lock, panelled door, door stop screws, and moulding.

To assemble, adhere to the following steps:

Build the jambs. Measure the frame and subtract ¾ of an inch from each side of the jambs to predict the width of both door jambs that will be nailed on either side. Cut the jambs according to these measurements. Assemble the head jamb and both lateral jambs on the floor. 

Mount the assembled frame in the opening, as well as the cedar shims on either side of the jambs and the wall. With a hammer, ensure that the frame is really vertical. Screw the frame and the shims, but not all the way. Once the head, middle, and bottom sections are equal, trim off the shims. 

Place and stabilize the door on its side so as to be able to trim off two hinges with a wood chisel and hammer. Repeat this step on the frame and consider the half-inch clearance below the door. Screw hinges to the door. Mount the door in the frame by fitting shims at the bottom to fill in the half-inch gap while you screw the hinges to the frame. 

Drill one hole in accordance with the size of the door handle and, if needed, another one the size of the lock. Drill a (or two for the lock) hole in the door next to the door handle. Insert and assemble the three-piece lock as instructed by the manufacturer. 

glazed interior door_choosing an interior door for your home

How to Soundproof an Interior Door?

Have you set up a bedroom in your basement for your teen-aged kid, after all, you both need your “me time,” and peace and quiet. Last year, they took up the acoustic guitar at school. Although you could tolerate Led Zeppelin, that is until they figured out it could be plugged into an amplifier. Now, even with the door firmly shut, your second neighbour can still hear that sweet melody of “Stairway to Heaven.” 

To soundproof a door, first, you will need to insulate it. Use a self-adhesive foam band (weatherstripping) to weatherproof windows and exterior doors, and position it so that it will be slightly compressed. For door bottoms, install low thresholds and a wooden door strip that will press against it, should there not be one already. This step to soundproofing might be the first in creating a recording studio, which may lead to eventual fame, who knows? 

wooden door_choosing an interior door for your home

Rustic Vibe of Swinging Doors

If there is a Western-specific, architectural element, it has to be the swinging saloon doors. The wind can barely wiggle them an inch; the squeaking sound of the springs announcing one’s arrival; the wide opening at the top and bottom, allowing us to get a glimpse of what is happening outside, no less than a tumbleweed in the dust… A suspense-worthy moment every time! The unknown figure slowly creeping toward the doors, only a pair of boots and hat visible. Effortlessly, as there is no door handle, they inch forward, ready to draw their weapon at the very hint of a disturbance.

The crude, Western aspect of the swinging door is impossible to disassociate from the imagination. Kind of unique, this type of door is mostly used in restaurants. The wait staff has to carry food and empty plates to and fro the kitchen, a burning dish in each hand, they can hardly be expected to turn a door handle with their knees.

But, with swinging doors, they can navigate back and forth, plates elevated and push the doors open with their shoulder. Some swinging doors are full-length with a small window to prevent collisions. Being able to have a barrier between smoke, vapour, and the smells emanating from the kitchen is the most one can expect in terms of sealing this type of door. 

To install a set of swinging doors, first, you will need to determine whether the door frame is solidly affixed to the home’s frame due to the constant back-and-forth motion. The swinging door panels of your choice will determine the type of hinge you will need to use. If the springs are too tough, the door will swing back abruptly. On the other hand, should the springs be too weak, the door will shut really slowly. Some hinges have a locking mechanism, often by inserting a pin in the hinge, the doors may be kept open. 

If you are opting for a Western-type of style, why not add a sliding garage door to the mix? It is an ingenious way of creating a contrast between movement and robustness.

Sliding and Pocket Doors: The Zen Factor

Opposing the crude, Western style, is the zen, Japanese-inspired design. Instead of just entering a certain space, you can slide open a door with the tippy tip of your fingertips. Sliding and pocket doors allow for space gain, and given this aspect, are ideal for small spaces. 

The sliding door accounts for at least two mounted panels on a track. Mostly, this type of door is used for closets, and it cannot be fully opened, thereby not giving you full access to the closet. They are quite practical for spaces in which swinging doors do not fit. 

The swinging mirrored door has the benefit of making rooms appear bigger and brighter. Some designers will warn you against having a large mirror in your bedroom, as it can affect your REM sleep if you see it from your bed. However, one cannot deny that a large mirror will give any small bedroom the effect of being bigger all the while still allowing you the gaze at yourself, from head to toe, when getting ready for a night out on the town. 

sliding door_japanese inspired_choosing an interior door for your home

Similarly to the sliding door, the pocket door slides by way of rollers on a track into a wall pocket and can be opened entirely all the while concealed. This type of door is rather practical in an entryway or a living room; spaces in which furniture prevents one from fully opening a door, between the kitchen and the dining room or even in a small mudroom. However, the wall must be adapted in accordance, which in turn makes installing this type of door more expensive.

Various Types of Folding or Pivoting Doors 

Similarly to the pocket door, the folding (or bi-fold) door is mounted on a track and opens “almost” entirely given the width of the panels once pulled together and open. Connected to one another by hinges, the two or three panels open like an “accordion.” Between the two tracks, the panels are fixed by pivots in the top and bottom corners. Bi-fold or folding doors are super practical for closets or small areas, but the sliding door takes up less space.

The pivoting door is mounted by two pivot hinges at the top and bottom of the door. You may use the same hinges you would use the fix a glass shower door. Some hinges rotate 360 degrees and can be locked at certain angles. On some door models, the pivot is not located at the top and bottom corners but at the centre of the door.

This type of door opens more easily because unlike a hinged door, you do not have to pull the entire weight of the door. As for a glazed door, the centralized pivot prevents the door from fully opening and thus slamming against the wall.

shower door_choosing an interior door for your home

Unlike exterior doors, which have to meet weatherproofing and security requirements, with interior doors, you can choose solely based on aesthetics. It is entirely up to you: scour large department stores, and retailers, peruse all the design and architectural magazines for inspiration and explore all possibilities. Redesigning your interior space, no matter how big or small your home, will be a breeze!

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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